At a freezing KCOM Stadium, a sometimes slick and classy Hull FC outfit got their first win of pre-season against a history making Toronto side.
Playing their first ever professional game, the Wolfpack, who many have tipped to take the sport by storm, proved stellar opposition, but Hull, thanks to a boisterous back line, did enough to claim victory.
Albert Kelly again gave an excellent account of himself. He played forty minutes, scored a sublime try, and set up another with a perfectly executed sprial pass.
Mahe Fonua popped up with two first half tries, but found life after the break tough. Alongside Carlos Tuimavave, a pairing seen often throughout training, they looked comfortable, and a real force off Kelly’s distribution, but in the second half the Tongan struggled in the centre spot.
On the left flank Fetuli Talanoa was lively off Josh Griffin, and enough inidciation was given to suggest Hull will be an attacking force this season.
Jamie Shaul also scored a sublime try, with the youngsters doing enough in the second half to see off their plucky Canadian opponents, who had their moments in the televised inaugural fixture.
Blake Wallace opened the scoring early on, as the Wolfpack got the better of the opening stages. Hull though looked lively, and had a desire to promote the ball and offload.
Such testimonies were examplified soon after. Fonua did superbly well to gather a high bomb, before offloading to Tuimavave, who fed Albert Kelly for a sensational try.
The Aussie showed great pace and was always in the thick of the action on the right edge. Jamie Shaul then got on the act supporting a Chris Green offload for Hull’s second try, before Mahe Fonua touched down.
Fui Fui Moi Moi then slid over under the sticks as Toronto refused to lie down, but Kelly, clearly enjoying himself out there, supplied Fonua again with a looping pass.
Sneyd kicked two from four conversion attempts, as Hull took a 20-12 half time lead.
Changes followed for the second forty with the younger members of the squad given a run out. Of them, Jansin Turgut impressed with some potent carries, whilst he also showed his pace with a neat step and break.
Though the Wolfpack really stuck in after the break, and scored twice to level the scores. Wingers Jonny Pownall and Liam Kay crossed over, with Hall having a mixed afternoon with the boot.
Hull had a spell of favourable possession late on, and got the winning try from one of their new signings, with Nick Rawsthorne sliding for the corner off a neat Connor Bower pass.
For Toronto it was a first defeat, but a spirited showing, and one they will have won a lot of admirers from. Their opposition, Hull FC, meanwhile showed glimpses of the sort of attacking prominence that should see them compete at the top end of the Super League table once again. Pre-season eh.
Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jamie Shaul, 2. Mahe Fonua, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 4. Josh Griffin, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 6. Albert Kelly, 7. Marc Sneyd, 10. Liam Watts, 11. Dean Hadley, 15. Chris Green, 17. Danny Washbrook, 16. Jordan Thompson, 32. Jordan Lane. Interchange: 19. Steve Michaels, 20. Curtis Naughton, 23. Nick Rawsthorne, 25. Jansin Turgut, 28. Brad Fash, 29. Masimbaashe Matongo, 30. Jez Litten, 31. Ross Osborne, 33. Connor Bower, 34. Jack Sanderson, 36. Jack Wray, Marvin Lee, Josh Wood.
Hull Tries: Kelly, Shaul, Fonua 2, Rawsthorne. Goals: Sneyd 2/4, Naughton 1/1.
Toronto Starting XIII: 1. Quentin Togaga’e, 2. Jonny Pownall, 4. Craig Hall, 3. Greg Worthington, 5. Liam Kay, 6. Blake Wallace, 7. Rhys Jacks, 21. Adam Sidlow, 9. Bob Beswick, 19. Jake Emmitt, 11. Andrew Dixon, 12. James Laithwaite, 29. Jack Bussey. Interchange: 8. Fui Fui Moi Moi, 10. Dan Fleming, 15. Ryan Burroughs, 16. Shaun Pick, 18. Steve Crossley, 13. Luke Menzies, 20. Tom Dempsey, 22. Reece Dean.
Toronto Tries: Wallace, Moi Moi, Pownall, Kay. Goals: Hall 2/4.
Scoring System: 0-6, 4-6, 10-6, 16-6, 16-12, 20-12, 20-16, 20-20, 26-20.
Referee: L Staveley